Search engines resemble answer machines. Their existence is to understand, discover, and organize the content on the internet to offer the results that are most relevant to questions being asked by searchers (Havalais, 2013). Search engine optimization (SEO) permits targeting of quality traffic, the inbound strategy of marketing. These methods optimize on making it easy for the audience to find the company when they want statistics. Inbound marketing is more customer-centric.
First, a brief history of the search engine will be provided, focusing on how corporations are using it to reach their audience. Then the essay will outline some of the political, economic, and social benefits of search engines. Then an account of how the search engine has influenced my life and the undesirable outcome will be provided.
Brief History/Explanation of Search Engines
The web contains thousands of millions of pages, all ready to display information on various amusing and interesting topics. The search Engine denotes a huge database of internet resources including images, programs, web pages, and newsgroups that assists to identify information on the World Wide Web (WWW) (Seymour, Frantsvog, & Kumar, 2011). Users can search for any statistics by passing inquiries in form of phrases and keywords. Then it searches for related data in its database and returns to the user. There are millions of pages on the internet that are ready to fool users with inaccurate information designed by the fancy and whim of the author. Search Engines help by preventing these fraud content or websites from reading the users. The search results are presented in a line of results, mostly known as SERPs (search engine results pages).
Figure 1: Google Search Engine (Seymour, Frantsvog, & Kumar, 2011)
Archie was the first search engine that existed since 1990, a year after WWW was invented. However, data was limited which made available only the listing and no content. Google was officially launched in 1998 and was the first company to successfully use the PPC model (Noble, 2018). Search engines maintained being primitive directory listings, until they developed to indexing and crawling websites, ultimately formulating algorithms for relevancy optimization.
Figure 2: First Search Engine, Archie (Haider & Sundin, 2019)
Yahoo commenced as a list of favorite websites, eventually advancing to be a searchable index directory. They had the services of their search outsourced until 2002 when they invested a lot in their search engine. Improving and unique algorithms of Google has made it become one of the all-time popular search engines (Haider & Sundin, 2019). Others continue having a difficult time keeping up with the relevancy algorithm Google has formulated by examining various factors such as fresh content, inbound links, and social media.
Figure 3: BlogSearchEngine (Vincent et al., 2019)
Figure 4: Yahoo Search Engine (Ghose, Ipeirotis, & Li, 2019).
There is the existence of different search engines for unique requirements. For instance, a user may want a search engine to assist the search for specific blogs, or for children that only return appropriate children sites. Monster and Indeed are good job search engines, BlogSearchEngine is great for searching blogs, and LyricsMode and SongMeanings are music lyrics search engines (Ghose, Ipeirotis, & Li, 2012). Top search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, AOL Search, Dogpile, Duck Duck Go, and The Internet Archive.
Figure 5: BlogSearchEngine (Ghose, Ipeirotis, & Li, 2012)
Analysis of Search Engines
Political candidates have been known to benefit from search engines as it helps voters locate information about their preferred candidates. Hong & Kim (2018) states that candidates influence election results as users scanning search query outcomes click on links in a predictable pattern, providing desirable emphasis to results on the first page and the top of the list. Organizations invest billions on search optimization to capitalize on these behavior patterns of users and ensure the pages of their website are on the top of the inquiry results. Such influences that link a user is likely to click, that in turn affects their behaviors and beliefs around issues, topics, and products. According to Binns (2018), considering the elevating number of individuals who turn uses the internet to attain information regarding candidates, manipulating search engine outcomes to favor a candidate over others, preferences of voters can be altered by 20 percent.
Search engines are beneficial economically by saving time by eliminating the purpose of finding statistics manually and performing searches at high speed. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a website optimization process to receive a high ranking in a search engine. Research indicates that most searchers do not go past the first two pages of search results, therefore, businesses need to attain a high ranking (Ghose, Ipeirotis, & Li, 2019). The tactics are to have new, quality content on the website with essential keywords, and to link between other respectable websites. Some organizations collaborate with a Web designer or hire consultants to institute and adhere to an ongoing SEO plan.
Figure 6: Search Engine Results
Another action that can be done on the search engine is advertising. Usually, this manifests as image or text ads that run alongside the results of a search. Vincent et al. (2019) state that corporations can select the keywords that they want to appear with their ads. Popular key phrases or keywords cost less than popular ones, but a website can produce more traffic. Such kind of advertising is effective because corporations can reach prospective clients who are explicitly fascinated with what is offered.
Figure 7: Revenues of online advertising of 53 countries in 2013 (Ji et al., 2016)
According to Jarrett (2014), SEO also has benefits for a company, which include better rates of conversion. Most SEO-maximized websites are easier to surf and load and can be properly displayed on all types of devices utilized today (Ji et al., 2016). Having pages that navigating and reading is simple assists in attracting various attention of customers. In return, this will drive a large number of clients to the business and should assist in attracting prospective customers to the corporate site.
The internet provides a far-fetched source of data and statistics. According to Ji et al. (2016), businesses utilize search engines to look for significant information from online sites. Such action may encompass checking into the actions of the competition, identifying media mentions of a firm, and discovering new stories. Organizations can research about a client and even get advice on how well to operate a business. Researching on the internet can be a good first step when planning on a new venture. Search engines can assist to inform if other similar ideas exist, how the competition has addressed the particular issue, and look into research, surveys, and studies connected to the topic.
Most corporations utilize search engines for checking in the potential new candidates’ backgrounds. Typing the name of a candidate into the search engine can provide results ranging from personal websites to news stories to profiles on the social network. Such means provide a corporation with a means to learn about a candidate (Nisar, Prabhakar, & Strakova, 2019). However, depending on the applicant’s name commonality, the returned results can be from other people sharing that name. Red flags should be noticed but the candidate should also have an opportunity to address any arising issues.
However, search engines have their undesirable outcome, which includes the difficulty of competitive keywords. The rivals are likely to desire to rank on similar keywords like the company, and if they are established companies in the market, surpassing their domination will not be easy (Park et al., 2015). Such an obstacle forces a company to have the necessity of dedicating time and money to use the popular keywords to rank, or aim for the ones that have less competition and are specific to the geographic location.
Figure 8: Keywords (Nisar, Prabhakar, & Strakova, 2019)
There is also the problem of changing algorithms. Search engines, particularly Google, regularly update their algorithms to acquire more specific results. These updates are meant to assist users to get better results, even changes in the algorithm considered insignificant, it can move the website from position one to the third page (Park et al., 2015).
The search Engine denotes a huge database of internet resources including images, programs, web pages, and newsgroups that assists to identify information on the World Wide Web (WWW). Political candidates have been known to benefit from search engines as it helps voters locate information about their preferred candidates. Search engines are beneficial economically by saving time by eliminating the purpose of finding statistics manually and performing searches at high speed.
Binns, R. (2018, January). Fairness in machine learning: Lessons from political philosophy. In Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (pp. 149-159).
Ghose, A., Ipeirotis, P. G., & Li, B. (2012). Designing ranking systems for hotels on travel search engines by mining user-generated and crowdsourced content. Marketing Science, 31(3), 493-520.
Ghose, A., Ipeirotis, P. G., & Li, B. (2019). Modeling consumer footprints on search engines: An interplay with social media. Management Science, 65(3), 1363-1385.
Haider, J., & Sundin, O. (2019). Invisible Search and Online Search Engines: The ubiquity of search in everyday life. Routledge.
Havalais, A. (2013). The Engines. In Search Engine Society. Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press. pp. 5-31
Hong, S., & Kim, N. (2018). Will the internet promote democracy? search engines, concentration of online news readership, and e-democracy. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 15(4), 388-399.
Jarrett, K. (2014). A database of intention. In Society of the query reader: Reflections on Web search, 16-29.
Ji, S. W., Choi, Y. J., & Ryu, M. H. (2016). The economic effects of domestic search engines on the development of the online advertising market. Telecommunications Policy, 40(10-11), 982-995.
Makhortykh, M., Urman, A., & Roberto, U. (2020). How search engines disseminate information about COVID-19 and why they should do better. The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review, 1.
Nisar, T. M., Prabhakar, G., & Strakova, L. (2019). Social media information benefits, knowledge management and smart organizations. Journal of Business Research, 94, 264-272.
Noble, S.U. (2018). A society, searching. In Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism: How search engines reinforce racism. Ney York: New York University. Pp. 15-63
Park, L. S., Yu, J., Yu, S., & Liao, L. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 9,116,994. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Seymour, T., Frantsvog, D., & Kumar, S. (2011). History of search engines. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (IJMIS), 15(4), 47-58.
Vincent, N., Johnson, I., Sheehan, P., & Hecht, B. (2019, July). Measuring the importance of user-generated content to search engines. In Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (Vol. 13, pp. 505-516).